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Board of Approval for SEZs to meet on Aug 8

G. Srinivasan

To consider 169 proposals for setting up SEZs

New Delhi , Aug. 3

The Board of Approval for Special Economic Zones (SEZ) would meet here on August 8 to consider as many as 169 proposals, including the pending ones received till mid-July 2006, for establishing SEZs in various segments such as multi-product, information technology, bio-technology and frontier areas of technology.

Official sources told Business Line that 105 proposals have been granted approval since the SEZ Act, 2005 came into vogue with the rules notified early this year. Of these, as many as 14 SEZs have been notified including that of Biocon Ltd for biotechnology, which is coming up in 36 ha in Bangalore, Dalmiya & Co Ltd for information technology and IT-enabled services and Apachee Investment Holding Ltd for footwear in Hyderabad. The sources said that once land acquisitions and other formalities were completed the SEZs would be notified, and there is always considerable time lag between formal clearance and the notification period. They said that 388 new applications were received by the Committee for setting up SEZs as on July 26. The Board of Approval is chaired by the Special Secretary in the Department of Commerce, Mr Gopal K. Pillai.

The sources said that as nearly 14 new SEZs have been notified out of the 105 proposals cleared so far, entrepreneurs in the country are looking for solutions to infrastructure impediments by opting for SEZs and their developments, where fresh infrastructure and hassle-free procedural simplification hold priority.

Currently, 28 SEZs are operational in the country, including the converted former free trade zones/export processing zones, with the maximum of seven SEZs in Tamil Nadu, five SEZs in Gujarat, followed by three each in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, two each in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and one each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

Of the 13 fresh cases that came up for approval on August 8 in the sector-specific SEZs, the biggest is from Uttaranchal Government's State Industrial Development Corporation for 440-ha multi-product SEZ to be located in Sitarganj, Udham Singh Nagar, Uttaranchal, and followed by Brandix India Apparel City Pvt Ltd (BIAC) for textile products in 405 ha in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

In the 42-odd fresh proposals for IT sector SEZs, there is a proposal by Infosys Ltd, Pune, for IT/ITES SEZ spread over 80 ha. Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd too proposes to put up an IT SEZ in Badshahpur, Gurgaon, Haryana, spread over 10.93 ha.

Among the 16 multi-product SEZs, including seven pending cases, the fresh ones include the biggest one spread over 6,070.35 ha in Alwar district, Rajasthan by Omaxe Ltd, followed by Indian Infrastructure Corporation Pvt Ltd spread over 1,011.71 ha in Anjar Taluka of Bhuj district of Gujarat.

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